Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 84 total)
  • Interviews what a jip…
  • bfw
    Full Member

    I am quite old, 50’s so been around a while now. In fact I have had and run many interviews in my 24 years in IT. I have built support teams from scratch a few times, I have in fact speed dated stylee hired a couple dozen contractors in a couple weeks once, and of course I have been through literally dozens and dozens of interviews myself.

    Geeze they are sh*t sometimes! I have just been through a long process with a major name, a company that thinks its a bit cool, what I have experienced is not cool at all.

    I just had a pop at the internal recruiter, and offered some feedback. Funny I didnt get the job 😉

    I must admit I would have had to have said no if I had got it, and almost every stage through the interview I was thinking its a no and then they said yes, come back again… It all felt very odd

    Funny stories and comments please!

    Twodogs
    Full Member

    I once interviewed a bloke with the same name as me, just so he could turn up at reception and say “my name is TwoDogs, I’m here to see Twodogs*)

    * not my actual name 😁

    fossy
    Full Member

    On the other side, we’ve a candidate that keeps applying to us for jobs – same roles, just we’ve had some internal movement. We found them a bit too ‘in your face’ so don’t want to shortlist again.

    Twodogs
    Full Member

    Also, was interviewing a woman with a colleague, and next to our office was a building site where they were driving piles. Our room was shaking a bit….the woman interviewee said “ooh it’s like sitting on a giant vibrator”.

    I bet she still wakes up at 4 in the morning wanting to crawl under a rock thinking about that one

    mj27
    Free Member

    Had 3 interviews recently at 3 separate companies, got the job at the 3rd but they were so different.

    For the first, I had to go through 7 rounds of different evaluations to get to the interviews and one of the blokes was trying to be so smart with his questions and aiming to impress those around him. He alone put me off working for them.

    2nd interview. They asked no difficult questions, it was like they did not know what they were doing. The recruiter told me that after I left they asked him loads of questions about me which was frustrating for all of us.

    3rd interview. Hard, difficult, grueling but nice people with no trick questions. It turned into a conversation which is always good. Got offered and accepted the job.

    On reflection, I have ended up in the best place but it is hard to tell yourself this when you come 2nd on the previous two occasions, you only realise later.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Funny stories and comments please!

    I only have tales of woe….!

    – Outward Bound – phone call mid-holiday to say ‘can you come for interview in two days for a senior role on Ullswater’. After driving down from Aviemore with the family (and holiday curtailed), after three hours of being shown around and meeting all the team I was taken to a room for interview. Where I was told the senior role at Ullswater had been filled internally the day before, and would I consider a lower post in Wales? He was upset I did not even stay to be interviewed.

    – Scottish Outdoor Education Centres – senior role, I interviewed well, waited 5 days for a decision – so called them to enquire. Was told (by secretary, the CEO would not speak to me) that they could not decide between me and someone else, and what was the lowest salary I would take to secure the job? Err, no… (and that centre closed a year later, poor management and huge hole in finance).

    – West Dunbartonshire – filled in full application for full time, permanent role. I was called on closing date to be told ‘there is no job, we just need new freelancers. You are ideal, can we offer you a couple of days work?’.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    I’ve surely posted this before, probably more than once, but it’s still funny.

    We once interviewed a bloke called Satnam. Cue lots of ‘satnav’ jokes, by the time the candidate arrived we were all quite giddy.

    The lad arrives, we go to meet him still barely recovering from the giggles. My colleague a stride in front of me greets him with an outstretched hand and completely deadpan says “hi, I’m Bob… find us alright?”

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I got put up for an interview by some recruiting agency who’d advertised it as technical sales and support (this was in chemical engineering).
    Got there to be interviewed about basically making marketing calls. I have no idea about marketing so the interviewer and I were talking at cross-purposes for 15 minutes before we both finally agreed that this wasn’t the job I was looking for.

    Two days later the recruiting agency phoned to tell me I hadn’t got the job.

    I pointed out that I knew this already and it would greatly help if they could describe the job accurately. They didn’t care, they just got paid for setting people up for interview, even if it turned into a total waste of time for the company and the interviewee.

    That, plus a couple of other issues made me absolutely hate recruitment firms, they were all utterly useless.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    More seriously,

    I’m in a not wildly different position from the OP. I’ve just been TUPEd (which is probably a thread in itself) so the one thing keeping me in my current role has just been removed.

    I’d kind of hoped that job adverts had moved on from the one-sided bullshit of 20+ years ago, but no. The vast majority are still a massive list of what they want, what they expect, what the ideal candidate will be, largely massively overspecced… and then right at the end some sort of ephemeral afterthought that says “competitive salary and benefits.”

    No. **** that right off. It isn’t Thatcher’s Britain any more, recruitment is a is a two-way process. Never mind “why do you want to work for us?”, I have over 30 years’ experience, why should I come and work for you? This attitude needs to change.

    Anyone looking for a cybersecurity professional and practiced Internet gobshite? 😁

    doris5000
    Full Member

    Anyone looking for a cybersecurity professional and practiced Internet gobshite?

    Maybe… why do you want to work for me?

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Maybe… why do you want to work for me?

    You’ll pay me money, and money can be exchanged for goods and services.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    @cougar EDF seem to always be looking for security, worth a punt? They also advertise the salary band.

    Like you I can’t be arsed with cryptic salaries.

    franksinatra
    Full Member

    When I was a manager in Social Care I had a agency temp doing some finance work for me. He was a lovely guy, in his 50’s but had been struggling with drink and was having to build his career up again. He got an interview in the Social Work HQ team as a finance assistant. Permanent job, good salary, he really, really wanted the job but he was nervous as hell. I spent a bit of time coaching him but he remained a nervous wreck.

    The interview was in the same building so he went off and came back 30minutes later, he looked grey. He literally looked ill. I asked him what happened and he shut me down, just wouldn’t talk about it. It took a few days for him to open up to me. It turns out that they asked him to tell a joke. A shocking, cheap and unhelpful interview question, really poor form asking a candidate to do that. Anyway, he froze then describes this out of body experience where the joke started falling out of his mouth and he knew it was wrong and he couldn’t stop it. He wouldn’t tell me the joke but (and remember this interview was in a social work department), he did tell me that the punchline involved Hitler and break dancing spastics.

    spawnofyorkshire
    Full Member

    Not particularly funny, but about 14 months ago i got approached to go for a job at a housing association in a strategic management role.
    First getting to know you interview 1-on-1 with the recruiter went swimmingly.
    Then it gets to the assessment day (on Teams – urgh)
    Got given 15 mins to prepare for a 10 minute presentation on the strategic direction they should take to achieve Net-Zero. They’re taking the piss with it to put me under pressure, but i nail it as i know my stuff*. The only people on the teams paying attention are the recruiters. The people from the association look very disinterested and ask very generic questions at the end, barely paying attention to my answers. I get no chance to ask them anything Red flag 1.
    After the presentation I go straight into an hours discussion with a different recruiter (business psychologist) to discuss my results in some reasoning tests, personality type stuff, etc.
    Red flag 2 appears in the emphasis she’s placing on the tests; I point out they weren’t my best work as I was elbows deep in my master’s dissertation at that time and had a massive project on at work so weren’t reflective of my usual standard, referencing workplace achievements, findings through my MBA, and personal experience. Oops I’ve just shit all over her specialisms and critically dissected them.
    Funnily enough i didn’t get the job. First recruiter sends me a very apologetic email when he finds out.
    Looking up on linkedin a few months later and the person who got the job was definitely known by them already.

    *Best bit of feedback after was that i was a bit too ambitious in the direction i proposed they take. Two weeks later a govt white paper was issued that was pretty much verbatim what i’d said in my presentation.

    Happy i didn’t get this one, especially as they are in the news right now for a very tragic failing in their duty of care to tenants

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    54 – and I’ve never had an interview!

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Happy i didn’t get this one, especially as they are in the news right now for a very tragic failing in their duty of care to tenants

    But here then is the truth of the matter – a crap recruitment process represents a crap organisation…? Bullet dodged and all that.

    surfer
    Free Member

    I pointed out that I knew this already and it would greatly help if they could describe the job accurately. They didn’t care, they just got paid for setting people up for interview, even if it turned into a total waste of time for the company and the interviewee.

    That, plus a couple of other issues made me absolutely hate recruitment firms, they were all utterly useless.

    There may be the odd outlier but this is my experience. There is no place in hell hot enough for most of them and I have been in IT for 35+ years and been on both sides.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    I didn’t get a role for a great firm recently, because the woman who would have been my boss didn’t like my answer to why I wanted to work there (pragmatic but reasonable).

    The internal recruiter (who I got on really well with) was surprised and a bit disappointed, and apologetic. I said don’t worry, I didn’t get the right vibe from my potential manager anyway (very po-faced and lacking insight) and some of the questions they were asking to manage expectations about the role were borderline red flags as well.

    I don’t mind the actual interviews, they can be quite engaging, but all the faff of applications and trawling LinkedIn etc. are what gets me.

    Anyone want a content manager?

    Murray
    Full Member

    20 years ago I was interviewing someone for a technical role. He was making a mess of the first couple of technical questions, I thought it was nerves so I asked him what he did out of work to calm him down. Cue half an hour of monologue about how his life was shit, his wife had left him, his dog had died etc.

    The interview never got back on track and he didn’t get the job.

    dissonance
    Full Member

    There may be the odd outlier but this is my experience.

    Dealt with one good IT recruitment agency (or quite likely person). Actually checked if suitable for role and basically did a pre-interview first with some good feedback.
    Only one though.

    The job already has someone lined up for it is always fun. There is someone else at my company with the same name who I occasionally get email for. Got one a couple of months back from HR basically going “we know we have to send this out to the public. How do we write the requirements to make sure its the internal person already selected?”

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    he did tell me that the punchline involved Hitler and break dancing spastics.

    MrsMC is a social worker with cerebral palsy and I just Lol’d. Sorry, not sorry.

    daviek
    Full Member

    I had an interview maybe 10 years ago for the same type of job I was in but better conditions. After a while I got in touch with them to ask if I could get some feedback as I’d obviously not got it and it turns out I have too much detail in my answers. It also came to light later that they already had someone lined up for the job.

    Having said that the last 2 jobs I’ve had I’ve been asked if I fancy going in for an interview so I’ve been quite lucky that way.

    willard
    Full Member

    @Cougar Drop me a PM if you want. I can ask around and see whether people are recruiting. A shame that you are in the UK, I need at least one more person in the team I am in over here. Saying that, I know a lot of people that are recruiting over here for people in cyber.

    Funniest interview tale I have does not even involve me. I was in another meeting when our office organiser put her head around the door and asked if I could come and help with something (as a first aider). Turns out that one of the people in my team had been interviewing a student for a summer job when the kid has just fainted.

    By the time I got there he was back on his feet, but it turned out he had eaten nothing for like two days, been working nights at a pizza place to make cash and then studying all hours to get ahead of his course. That, the drive, the warmth of the office and the stress has just messed him over. Poor kid. I got him water, walked with him to the supermarket and bought him lunch and a lucozade and made him eat. We wanted him to not go anywhere, but he insisted on driving home and it turns out he had a car accident on the way back.

    pocpoc
    Free Member

    A few years ago I interviewed for a role. It was between me and one other person. They offered it to me. But they took £3k off the salary because I had a BAhons and not a BEng as was in their criteria. That was a big red flag, if they were looking to cut costs already at that point then I couldn’t see much investment in development (mine or theirs) taking place in the future. Told them (via a very pissed off recruiter) no thanks and that that was the reason why. If I’m good enough for the job then offer me it, don’t start scrimping before I’ve even accepted.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    Anyone want a content manager

    No, I want one hungry to succeed! (Also sorry, not sorry).

    chakaping
    Free Member

    By the time I got there he was back on his feet, but it turned out he had eaten nothing for like two days, been working nights at a pizza place to make cash and then studying all hours to get ahead of his course. That, the drive, the warmth of the office and the stress has just messed him over. Poor kid. I got him water, walked with him to the supermarket and bought him lunch and a lucozade and made him eat. We wanted him to not go anywhere, but he insisted on driving home and it turns out he had a car accident on the way back.

    OMG.

    But did he get the job?

    chakaping
    Free Member

    No, I want one hungry to succeed! (Also sorry, not sorry).

    And this is why I’m the one who gets paid to write puns.

    😉

    tomd
    Full Member

    We once interviewed a bloke called Satnam

    It’s a Sikh name with religious significance. I can sort of see the funny side but it hardly screems diverse, inclusive workplace.

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    My first ever proper job, after polytechnic*…

    I caught the train** to London on a hot August day wearing suit and tie as was normal back then and traipsed across to St Thomas’s Hospital for an interview in a cancer research lab. On arrival, I found that I’d dropped all of the paperwork somewhere on the way so didn’t know who to ask for, where in the hospital to go, etc. I found my way to the right place and was interviewed by the professor, a senior researcher and senior technician. Every time anyone asked a question, Richard, the senior researcher, would answer for me. He even answered his own questions to me. After being shown around the lab I was offered the job.

    I was the only interviewee to turn up, I found out later. Thirty years later, I still maintain that I was ideal for the job, which involved long breaks, little work and regular post-work drinking in the pub opposite.

    *Ah polytechnics, those were the days…
    **Ah, cheap train travel, those were the days…

    Cougar
    Full Member

    @Cougar Drop me a PM if you want. I can ask around and see whether people are recruiting. A shame that you are in the UK, I need at least one more person in the team I am in over here. Saying that, I know a lot of people that are recruiting over here for people in cyber.

    Honestly, I don’t know where “over here” is but I work from home and I have zero appetite for going back to a traditional commuting model. Induction / training or occasional site visits would be fine but I’m damned if I’m sitting in rush hour traffic for three hours every day to get into an office for absolutely no practical reason. I’d rather flip burgers for a living.

    That said, if you want to keep an ear out, I’d genuinely appreciate it. Thank you.

    It’s a Sikh name with religious significance. I can sort of see the funny side but it hardly screems diverse, inclusive workplace.

    I take your point, and I agree. The culture was kinda laddish and I hated it.

    I couldn’t give a rat’s arse about any religious significance, but mocking someone’s name is poor form. In my defence it was like 20 years ago.

    thelawman
    Free Member

    @Cougar I have a sneaky feeling, from past posts, that @Willard is in Sweden.
    Ignore me if that’s wrong

    voodoo-rich
    Full Member

    I ran a few interviews for project engineers at a large-scale food processing site. I used to get a few random things from the stores (like a temperature transmitter, and a flange-gasket of some type…) and ask the interviewees what they were, and if they didn’t know, what might they be. The role was very much not desk-based, hot on breakdown trouble-shooting, and if you didn’t at least pick up the random thing and give it a close look then i lost interest in the candidate… I don’t think HR liked it though 🙂

    bigginge
    Full Member

    I had an odd experience interviewing a candidate over teams during lockdown. The candidate joins the meeting at the appropriate time but without her camera turned on. I explained it would be much better for the interview if we could actually see each other while we were talking but she was very reluctant to turn it in still. After a little more discussion she finally agreed to turn the camera on but told me that should would just have to pop away for a few minutes first as she needed to go and get dressed. Unfortunately that was a fairly good indicator as to how the rest of the interview would go.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    I hung up on telephone interview once. I perhaps should have said “sorry I don’t think this is for me” but they were being pretty unprofessional (sniggering about my age and being rude about why at my age I would want the role :/ ) so **** ’em

    Aidy
    Free Member

    After a little more discussion she finally agreed to turn the camera on but told me that should would just have to pop away for a few minutes first as she needed to go and get dressed.

    Hah. My unofficial guidelines for scoring candidates used to go something like:

    1/10 – Turns up
    2/10 – Turns up wearing clothes
    3/10 – Turns up vaguely prepared for an interview

    Fortunately we never had anyone at 1/10.

    Aidy
    Free Member

    That, plus a couple of other issues made me absolutely hate recruitment firms, they were all utterly useless.

    They’re all terrible, I’ve no idea how they manage to survive – I’ve tried to deal with a number of them, and I have zero positive things to say about any of them.

    jonba
    Free Member

    Google review of where I used to work.

    “A dying company. Went there for an interview last year for industry placements besides ok facilities I mean the outside is cleaner then the inside. I was asked about several “concepts” what would you invent to stop boat corrosion and ironically guess what AkzoNobel was working on anti corrosion formula. If I was actually stupid enough to tell the interviewer my actual ideas they could have taken my idea claimed it for their own and had the resources to do it shame i’m not that stupid. How low does a company have to go to ask undergraduate students for ideas on how to solve worldly problems.

    Not only that but one of my flights got cancelled on the day to depart my second flight I missed seconds after rebooking my cancelled flight and then I had to book a late night flight after being up in the morning 4:00 am btw leaving at 11:30 with my interview at 7:00 in the morning oh and guess what ? I got rejected because Cambridge candidates will always come first. In between all of this I discovered over the past months my declining health was a result of lead poisoning which was at its peak during this time.

    Asks for my help on their own ideas
    Has me book 3! Flights for an interview I may never get.
    Suffered all of this and the interview while suffering from lead poisoning yet ….
    Rejects my interview.
    Shame on you”

    chewkw
    Free Member

    I am quite old, 50’s so been around a while now

    Young man! Not old at all.

    The last time I had an interview I just told the rather extroverted boss to give me the money and I would get the job done (really I did). Told him I was not there to mess around, not going to pretend to use some fancy words to describe what I was not nor pussy footing around and he gave me the job. Once on the job I over delivered and he was very good to me. Not a single issue with him while others were so scared shite of him. They thought he was a bully but he was just an old school no nonsense person. He retired after a few years. While he was there nobody dared to mess with me. LOL! After he retired, the next boss was also fine until she retired too then things went down hill from there after this pussy footing slider took over and made me redundant, coz he sold off the division. That was the good time.

    Now if I want a job I just have to ask (some hourly) coz of my track record. i.e. deliver on time and on budget. Non of this pussy footing talks.

    LOL! The last HR person asked me whether I should be under probation I told her I had been on probation throughout my life!

    scruffythefirst
    Free Member

    I just asked a candidate to draw the root cause analysis and process flow of a bad cup of tea on the whiteboard.

    chewkw
    Free Member

    I just asked a candidate to draw the root cause analysis and process flow of a bad cup of tea on the whiteboard.

    LOL! That’s easy the water, specific tea leaf, tea submersion time, number of submersion, and brewing temp. Want to be more specific then find out how the tea leaf was “cooked” or prepared and the region it comes from.

    Now pay me handsomely. LOL!

    p/s: best tea I drank was prepared by two old sisters in their 80s and 90s when I was in Thailand. No tea comes close since. Wish I had asked them to teach me. What a lost art.

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